Parents ‘want texts from schools’

September 13, 2008

Parents 'want texts from schools'

BBC reports on the survey from Becta about how schools need to use e-mail and SMS to communicate more with parents.

Many parents would like school reports on their children’s performance texted or e-mailed, a survey says.

One in 12 of the 1,493 parents polled by government education technology agency Becta said schools kept them informed using these methods.

But 68% of parents said they wanted schools to use such technologies to keep them up to date more frequently.

Of course if schools are to take heed of this survey, then FE Colleges need to do likewise. Does your FE College already communicate to the students by e-mail and/or SMS text messaging? Can the students communicate back?

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Please do not send 17MB Word attachments…

March 15, 2008

As per usual when I am out of the office for a while I get the usual “Your mailbox is over its size limit” as I do send and receive a large amount of e-mail (even more so when I am out of the office as it is my main form of communication).

Please do not send 17MB Word attachments…

Now it’s very difficult to archive from a remote location, so I do go through and trim a few e-mails and download and then delete large attachments.

However was very surprised to see literally one day after doing this he “Your mailbox is over its size limit” message again, I checked I hadn’t received any new BIG e-mails for a while, so I thought I know I suspect that an all staff e-mail with a large attachment had been sent round.

And boy was I right!

Somone (who shall remain nameless as this is a public blog) had sent for sending to all staff an e-mail with a single Word document as an attachment.

This Word document was a single page document, with some pictures on it.

This Word document in terms of file size was large, nay huge, nay really really BIG!

It was 17MB, that’s right seventeen MB!

17MB for a single page document!

Obviously the person who had created the document had taken some photographs with a digital camera and inserted them into the word document, resized them so they fit on the page, but not resized them in terms of file size!

17MB for a single page document!

Now with other a thousand staff, that means the mail server was choked with 20GB from a single e-mail!

I suspect I was not the only one who received the “Your mailbox is over its size limit” e-mail this weekend and I suspect that there will be a lot of people who will be very annoyed and will just delete the Word document without opening or downloading it.

Really that file should have never been sent, posted as a link perhaps (but would you download a 17MB Word document).

I did go ahead and print it as a PDF and got it down to 300KB without trying which is still large, but so much better than 17MB.

Maybe next time a simple text e-mail would have sufficed.


Turn off your e-mail and get some work done…

October 19, 2007

Does e-mail improve the way you work, or is it something that gets in the way of your work?

I have been using the e-mail guidelines form Merlin Mann which I mentioned at the beginning of the month and at this point I have no e-mail in my inbox.

Too much e-mail can impact on the day to day things you need to do as part of your job.

There are other ways of dealing with e-mail, one of which that some companies are doing is to ban e-mail for the day.

The BBC reports on how companies like Intel are having e-mail free days.

With inboxes bulging with messages and many workers dreading the daily deluge of e-mail, some companies are taking drastic action. Intel has become the latest in an increasingly long line of companies to launch a so-called ‘no e-mail day’. On Fridays, 150 of its engineers revert to more old-fashioned means of communication. In actual fact e-mail isn’t strictly forbidden but engineers are encouraged to talk to each other face to face or pick up the phone rather than rely on e-mail. In Intel’s case the push to look again at the culture of e-mail followed a comment from chief executive Paul Otellini criticising engineers “who sit two cubicles apart sending an e-mail rather than get up and talk”.

This is quite a drastic way of encouraging employees to talk, but ask yourself this, have you ever used e-mail back and forth to ask and answer questions with someone who was at their desk and therefore could have answered the phone?

Have you ever sent an e-mail rather than pick up the phone or walk over for a chat?

Do you ever exit Outlook (or your e-mail client) or is it always running all day?

Do you use e-mail or does e-mail use you?


Dealing with e-mail

October 1, 2007

An excellent presentation from Merlin Mann on how to deal with e-mail and have an inbox with zero e-mail in it!

One of the key messages, is don’t check your e-mail, deal with your e-mail.

  • Delete or Archive
  • Delegate
  • Respond
  • Defer
  • Do

Well worth a watch especially if you have more than fifty unread e-mail in your inbox.